A large variety of plant belongs to the Eucalyptus genus, which is usually evergreen trees or shrubs. Eucalyptus tree indigenously found in the forest of Australia, New Guinea, Tasmania, and the neighboring islands. But the commercial cultivation of this tree has also done in sub-tropical and warm temperate regions due to its high economic value.
There are almost 500 different Eucalyptus varieties are identified. Eucalyptus albens, Eucalyptus amplifolia, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus citriodora, Eucalyptus cladocalyx, Eucalyptus cypellocarpa, and Eucalyptus globules are some common varieties of Eucalyptus which have different medicinal properties due to their different phytochemical compositions. The volatile oils present in the leaves of the Eucalyptus genus are widely used in medicine formulation.
Traditionally, this oil is used for different treatment purposes. Traditional medicinal practitioners recommended treating wounds, pimples, skin ulcer, ringworm, leukorrhoea, cystitis, gastritis, laryngitis, urethritis, vaginitis, malaria, diabetes, and kidney disease. It is a very effective treatment for respiratory disorders, such as it acts as an expectorant and provide relief of mild inflammatory condition associated in the respiratory tract. It is effective to treat throat inflammation, asthma, bronchitis, etc. In the south European folk medicinal practice, Eucalyptus oil is prescribed asthma, fever, lung tuberculosis, neuralgic pain and also recommended as an antiseptic agent. The external application helps to treat wounds, rheumatism, bleeding gums, poorly healed ulcers, acne, stomatitis, and neuralgia. It is necessary to mention that Eucalyptus oil has multiple industrial uses including industrial use, flavoring and perfumery application, medicinal formulations.
There are different types of phytochemicals present depending upon the variety of Eucalyptus. In general, phytochemical constituents of Eucalyptus are essential oil, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, alkaloids, phenols, sterols, saponins, and tannins.
Eucalyptus camaldulensis leaves have an inhibitory effect against Helicobacter pylori and also showed calcium antagonist activity. Both of these properties helps to treat the gastrointestinal problem.
1,8-Cineole, an active essential oil ingredient has an inhibitory effect against peritoneal capillary permeability and the chemical nociception. It also has inflammatory mediators inhibitory effect against Interleukins, prostaglandins, TNF-α, cytokine production. This phytochemical also has a central nervous system depressant effect.
Different verities of Eucalyptus have free radicals scavenging activity and exerts a potent antioxidant activity.
The essential oil present in Eucalyptus can prevent cancer due to its cytotoxic effect. The animal research report found that Eucalyptus induces apoptosis and also inhibits tumor progression.
Antimicrobial effect of Eucalyptus had proven through many animal research and showed reduced the application of Eucalyptus oil reduce the bacterial count.
The antiseptic and deodorant nature of eucalyptus oil makes it a perfect room freshener for hospitals. It acts as an odor remover and helps keep the environment of the rooms clean and sterilized.
Eucalyptus oil is frequently used in soaps and detergents due to its pleasant aroma and medicinal properties.
Eucalyptus oil can be used as a handy household cleaner for cleaning kitchen surfaces, bathroom countertops, and sinks. Mix 1 cup water, ½ cup vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a clean spray bottle.
You can add the herbal oil to warm water and soak grease-stained clothes for a few hours, before washing it to get rid of the stains.
If you are working with grease, paints, or tar, you can use the herbal oil to clean your hands. Blend the oil with sea salt and wash your hands with this mixture.
Many people add eucalyptus oil to baths, spas, and saunas because of its refreshing and antiseptic attributes. Therefore, it is commonly used in aromatherapy and added in diffusers, which is frequently included in spa treatment packages.
Blending: Eucalyptus oil blends well with many other essential oils including the essential oils of thyme, rosemary, marjoram, myrtle, peppermint, lavender, cedarwood, and frankincense.
Eucalyptus has many therapeutic uses, these are as follows:
Eucalyptus has spasmolytic activity and an animal research study reported that the 5 days treatment with Eucalyptus reduces the size of the ulcer significantly.
The experts recommended eucalyptus oil for allergic rhinitis. This essential oil is a rich source of monoterpenes like 1, 8-cineol, which possess anti-inflammatory effect and acts as an immunomodulator. The anti-inflammatory effect of eucalyptus oil is also treated with asthma. The potent anti-inflammatory effect effective to treat tumor also. A clinical trial result reported that which eucalyptus oil inhalation reduced pain and blood pressure after total knee replacement surgery. Eucalyptus oil massage reduces muscle pain symptom and joint pain.
Eucalyptus oil and 1,8-cineole the bioactive phytochemical of Eucalyptus oil have a wide range of antimicrobial effects, which is effective against many bacteria, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, viruses, and fungi like Candida and prevent many infections.
Inhalation and oral intake of Eucalyptus containing herbal drug assist to treat acute and chronic both respiratory problems, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, and asthma.
The cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property of Eucalyptus showed anticancer effect. The anti-cancer property of Eucalyptus is effective against colon, prostate, and breast cancer cell lines.
Mental exhaustion often causes impairment of cognitive health. Inhalation of Eucalyptus oil vapor can reduce mental stress and provide stimulant activity. It improves blood circulation in the brain as it acts as a vasodilator. Rejuvenation of the brain cells, which improves mental activity. The neurological stimulant property of Eucalyptus oil also improves alertness. Proper blood circulation in brain tissue increases cognitive power.
Some traditional approaches referred that eucalyptus oil as “fever oil” due to its potent antipyretic effect. Addition of eucalyptus oil in cold compression applied on the forehead during high fever helps fast reduction of body temperature.
Eucalyptus containing essential oil active against dental plaque and cavities. The germicidal properties of this herbal ingredient can cure bad breath, and other dental infections, including gingivitis. Commercially, Eucalyptus oil is added to toothpaste, mouthwash, and other dental hygiene products.
The antibacterial property of Eucalyptus oil helps to prevent and treat skin infection. Therefore, many skincare products contain mild Eucalyptus oil. Application of mild Eucalyptus oil containing products helps to control acne, eczema, pimples and prevents skin aging, blemishes, and sunspots. Olive oil or coconut oil are good carrier oil of this skin remedy.
The antiseptic and antifungal property of Eucalyptus essential oil prevents the accumulation of germs in hair follicles and thus the associated scalp issues like itchy scalp, dandruff, psoriasis can be prevented. Experts recommended add few drops of Eucalyptus oil with olive oil or coconut oil helps to improve moisture content in the scalp and stimulate blood flow to support hair growth. It is also a good remedy for head lice. Australian pharmaceutical company researched in 2017 had proven the anti-lice effect of Eucalyptus oil. It requires to apply on the scalp by mixing with other carrier oil.
Overdosing of Eucalyptus oil can cause side effects, including allergic reaction, dermatitis, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, stomach upset. Eucalyptus oil treatment is not recommended for children below 3 years of age. It is always recommended that consult with your general physician and expert herbal medicinal practitioner before starting the Eucalyptus oil therapy. Experts usually suggest avoiding direct application of Eucalyptus oil to avoid side effect.